The thing about this small-fingered toad called Trump is that he’s brutally honest. In Africa, leaders conduct state affairs in a shitty manner and easily get away with it amid rounds of applause from their brainwashed supporters. When Trump calls Haiti and African states “shit-hole” countries, he’s simply stating the truth. What he just lacks is decorum while stating this obvious truth. Hence we’re being dishonest when we strongly come out up in arms against the deranged ol’man in the Whitehouse, just because he has a penchant for stating the plain truth in the most unpalatable way.
If he were to be civil and diplomatic enough, he would refer to Haiti and African states as third world or developing countries. And this is a tag we’ve proudly carried around our necks, like some kind of golden medallion, for far too long. Never mind that our incorrigibly corrupt leaders perennially run to the west, begging bowl in hand, after rapaciously plundering our rich resources! So what dignity is there in being referred to as a third world country and meekly accepting it? What difference is there between a third world country and a shit-hole” country? If I may ask.
For instance, we just had a shitty election in Kenya where leaders unashamedly retained power through unimaginable, savage means. They then told us to move on and most of you, like little bots, marched on and lectured your friends about the importance of peace, if a country is to develop.
The said development is finally here in large doses of countrywide power outages, a messed education system, without even mentioning failed promises of free secondary education and myriad other false promises. In other words, we have never learnt to hold our leaders accountable in order to force them to lead us to the first world, which has been sensationally Christened – by local politicians – as Canaan.
The middle-class citizenry is the biggest culprit in this state of affairs. Folks in this class always want to toil and moil in peace while loudly complaining about the situation in their “third world” countries on social media. This they do very well from the comfort of their upmarket offices or houses whose mortgage they’re yet to clear. But, when the rubber meets the road and real action is needed to bring about necessary political change, most of them never come out to vote or even take part in a simple “white handkerchief” protest against shitty leadership. They neither have the time nor the will to dirty their hands in the trenches!
As a result, we’ve people like Sonko, Waititu and Jaguar holding critical offices where they make very important governance decisions on behalf of the highly learned middle-class! Now that is our biggest tragedy.
Why are we then surprised that Trump called African states “shit-hole” countries? We must agree that nobody treats you like a piece of shit until you allow or give them a good reason to. Don’t give me that tired lecture of “We must stop self-bashing and begin loving ourselves.” There is a huge difference between that and honest introspection or serious self-appraisal. Sweeping our rot under the carpet and playing victim can never take us anywhere.
You can never hear Trump refer to countries like S.Korea, Singapore and the so-called Asian Tigers as “shit-hole” countries. Never in this lifetime. Why? Because, these countries, through sheer determination, pulled themselves from the “shit holes” that they were in before. They secured their seats at the high table of the committee of civilized nations. Don’t we, time and again, pride ourselves to have been economically at par with these Asian Tigers barely four decades back? We elected to remain in our shitholes! Didn’t we?
Therefore, as much as Trump is sometimes overly irrational and delusional, he is sadly right on many things including this one. Most African countries are despicable “shit-hole” states, thanks to our poor, greedy, selfish leadership and a complacent populace. We’ve incompetent leaders clinging to power and plundering their countries’ resources as if there is no tomorrow. The worst part of it is that the electorate foolishly allows them or even cheers them on, especially when they happen to share ethnicity! It’s only through recognizing our folly that we can then begin taking any meaningful action towards changing the bleak situation in Africa. Self-denial can make you your own worst enemy.
The burden of proof that we are no “shit-hole” states squarely lies on our shoulders. That can’t be done through mere shouting and getting mad at the yellow-haired old geezer in the Whitehouse. It can only be done by simply folding up our sleeves and emulating what the Asian Tigers did for their countries to be where they are today. Respect can only be earned. It is never bestowed on anybody without anything to show for it